ECRE conducted an interview with Christopher Hein, Director of the Italian Refugee Council. Here are some of the points he made regarding the migrant arrivals in Lampedusa and neighbouring islands:
- The expeditious deportation of the group of Egyptians who arrived on Sicily earlier this week shows that the readmission agreement with Egypt continues to function whereas the agreement with Tunisia is not functioning at present;
- CIR is concerned that if Frontex becomes involved with the current situation, Tunisian migrants may be returned indiscriminately;
- EASO is not capable of assisting at present because it has no staff;
- The migrants who have arrived need to be processed- those seeking asylum should be subjected to asylum procedures, those seeking humanitarian protection should be subjected to the humanitarian procedures; and others, where appropriate, should be offered voluntary repatriation;
- If much larger numbers of migrants were to continue to arrive, obligations under the EU Temporary Protection Direction might be triggered (COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof).
Click here for full ECRE interview